On Thursday it ended. One of the more inexplicable and odious curses in recent Pitt football memory. The curse of the Tar Heel. For six consecutive seasons, UNC found a way to win. No matter where, or when, or how the two teams were playing at the time.
- 2013, Pittsburgh: UNC 34-Pitt 27
- 2014, Chapel Hill: UNC 40-Pitt 35
- 2015, Pittsburgh: UNC 26-Pitt 19
- 2016, Chapel Hill: UNC 37-Pitt 36
- 2017, Pittsburgh: UNC 34-Pitt 31
- 2018, Chapel Hill: UNC 38-Pitt 35
Six straight UNC wins, all decided by fewer than seven points. Two Pitt coaches were afflicted. Countless players. Millions of fans.
Now that curse is over thanks to a nearly flawless performance by Kenny Pickett, who out-dueled freshman phenom Sam Howell, and a defense that stepped up just in time to bring home a 34-27 overtime victory.
Hopefully you didn’t miss it because you were watching Myles Garrett play whack-a-mole with Mason Rudolph’s head.
THE FINAL SCORE
THE PUNDITS SPEAK
- Vukovcan: Shocky steps up
- Bell: Five takeaways from Pitt’s win
- DiPaola: Pitt-North Carolina wrap-up
- Peak: 10 memorable plays
- News & Observer: Why UNC’s defense struggled
- Tar Heel Blog: Three from the opposition
- The Key Play: All 32 coastal division final scenarios
THE NUMBERS SAY…
Pitt’s back out of the top 50 of the SP+, dropping all the way to number 51. No matter how many wins they amass, it looks like the computers will just never favor the Panthers. It is important to remember that Bill Connelly’s system is not a resume. You an drop with a win and rise with a loss. Pitt’s defense is still top 10, while the offense is still stuck in the triple digits at 112th. The two teams also in the mix for the ACC Coastal, Virginia and Virginia Tech are 39th and 44th respectively.
In ESPN’s FPI, the Panthers are up two spots to number 52. They are now underdogs next week to Virginia Tech with only a 41% chance of winning.
In CBS Sports’ Top 130, the Panthers are 42nd, one spot behind Virginia Tech.
College Football News has Pitt at number 23.
The Panthers received seven votes in the Coaches poll and nine in the AP Top 25.
The suddenly resurgent, #25 Virginia Tech Hokies, who are still somehow in contention for the ACC Coastal crown along with Pitt and Virginia. VT just smushed Georgia Tech 45-0 to move to 7-3 and 4-2 in the conference (and now #25 in the AP). The Hokies played ND to the wire, beat Miami and UNC but also lost to Boston College and Duke. Their out of conference schedule included Rhode Island, Furman and Old Dominion, so are they good? TBD.
The game will commence at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN 2.
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Wake Forest found its level, and that level is definitely not Top 25 after getting annihilated by Clemson, who are looking to prove to the CFP committee that they are indeed an elite program by now trying. … This week’s token Top 25 team is Virginia Tech. … Florida State still doesn’t have a coach.
Florida State 49 – Alabama State 12
Virginia Tech 45 – Georgia Tech 0
Syracuse 49 – Duke 6
Clemson 52 – Wake Forest 3
Louisville 34 – NC State 20
ONE FOR THE ROAD
“We want ‘Bama” should be the Panthers’ rallying cry for the rest of the season.